Laura Gallagher entrepreneur at the creative company and author of #180in120 accepts trailblazer award in madison wisconsin from governor scott walker

Four Dane County Businesses Recognized with 2016 Governor’s Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business

Governor Scott Walker Announces 2016 Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business

Madison, WI (April 18, 2016) –  The Creative Company, Lichtfeld Plumbing, Nan M. Zimdars, Inc., and Silver Leaf Interiors, Inc, four long-standing women-owned businesses located in Dane County, are among 14 businesses selected for 2016 Wisconsin Governor’s Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business. Award recipients were announced by the Office of Governor Scott Walker on April 7, 2016 (press release).

Trailblazer Awards honor the rich legacy of women’s business ownership in Wisconsin.

The 14 businesses selected for the 2016 Awards represent eight Wisconsin counties and a wide range of industries – including non-traditional industries for women.  Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the State Capitol later this year.

“The value of these winners is not just in the past accomplishments we celebrate today — it is also in the women their trailblazing example will inform and inspire in the future to follow their own entrepreneurial passions and dreams,” said Mary Jo Baas, Chair, Wisconsin Women’s Council.

The Creative Company, Laura Gallagher, President, Nan M. Zimdars, Inc., Nan Zimdars, President, and Silver Leaf Interiors, Inc., Laura Groenier, President, are recognized in the Business Pioneer Award category honoring companies that have been majority woman-owned for the past 25-years or more.  The 4th generation of her family to own Lichtfeld Plumbing, Inc., Melanie Lichtfeld is recognized in the Torchbearer Award category honoring generational family-owned businesses that are currently owned by a female relative of the founder and spanning three generations or more of family ownership. These business owners are commended for their leadership and the lasting economic benefits their companies bring to Wisconsin.

The Governor’s Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business are hosted by the Office of the Governor, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and Wisconsin Women’s Council, in partnership with BMO Harris Bank (lead corporate sponsor), The WIDGET Source, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), Wisconsin Women’s Business Certification Program, and Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC).

For a complete list of award recipients and more information about the award program, visit the Women’s Council web site at…


The Creative Company, Inc. and

Laura Gallagher, 608-442-6336

Laura Gallagher started The Creative Company, a public relations and digital agency, in 1991. Her firm has won numerous awards including the Gold Award for “Best Ad Agency in Wisconsin”. Most recently, Laura was honored to be an Athena Nominee for The Business Forum. She has served on the National Retail Federation’s RAMA Board of Directors as well as numerous community and non-profit boards.

Her new book, “#180in120 – How to Recharge Your Business in 120 Days” was just published and is available on Amazon. She is an active member of Downtown Madison Rotary, a member of the Public Relations Society of America and PRSA Counselors Academy, the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin and a Wisconsin State Certified Women’s Business Owner.

Nominated by Vickie Wenzel, Director of Learning and Development, Atmosphere Commercial Interiors.

Silver Leaf Interiors, Inc.

Laura Groenier, 608-242-0707

Silver Leaf Interiors, Inc. was founded in 1990 by Laura Groenier.  Silver Leaf is a full service residential design-build firm, specializing in kitchen and bath remodel and home furnishings.  Laura is a graduate from Madison College, Associates in Applied Arts Interior Design. She has served as past president of the Wisconsin Chapter Professional Picture Framers Association (WPPFA), Northside Business Association Board and Advisory Board, Madison College Interior Design Program. Silver Leaf is a supporter of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), Dane County Rape Crisis Center and River Food Pantry.  In her free time, she enjoys time with family, the outdoors, tennis and traveling.

Lichtfeld Plumbing, Inc.

Melanie Lichtfeld, 608-222-4528

Melanie Lichtfeld is the 4th Generation owner of Lichtfeld Plumbing.  Lichtfeld Plumbing originated in 1895 with my Great Grandfather, Henry Lichtfeld.  More than 100 years later, Lichtfeld Plumbing is still helping people keep their plumbing systems in good working order.  I was raised in the business.  My early exposure spiraled into a growing interest for the profession.  In particular, two areas of stalled social perceptions about plumbing that I want to set out to unclog.

In Roman days, the plumber held a high ranking position in the government.  One of my goals is to get more women respected in the trades and to make the plumbing profession an honorable career choice.  Plumbers protect the health of the nation.

Nan M. Zimdars, Inc.

Nan Zimdars, 608-288-8300

Nan M. Zimdars, Inc. is a financial planning firm specializing in assisting people with a goal of financial independence through personal retirement plans, investments and insurance.  Nan Zimdars, CFP®, CLU entered the business in 1979.  She has learned over the years that while investments are important, it is just as important to give clients the permission to see and believe a future of financial independence.  She helps clients identify and articulate their financial hopes and dreams.  Once the plan is created, the company assists in the implementation, monitoring and modifying as life’s changes occur. Nan M. Zimdars, Inc., offers securities through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, a separate entity.

Nominated by Robin Stroebel, CEO, InteriorLOGIC, Inc., and 2014 recipient of a Governor’s Trailblazer Award.